They say when the student is ready, the lessons will come. Since I broke my brain and embraced the plurality of my life, I’ve become hyper-vigilant of all the “shoulds” that assault me on a daily basis. “You should be this, you should be that… you should go fuck yourself with a wiffle ball bat.”
Wait, that might not be exactly how it goes. Anyhoo…
Earlier this week I was having a conversation with two of my colleagues about learning competencies we needed in the organization to be successful. Somehow the conversation turned to behavioral motivators.
“People doing this type of work (nonprofit work) can’t be motivated by having their names on awards,” one of my colleagues declared and the other nodded her head in agreement.
I sat with the statement for a few moments. “Do I have to be selfless to do this type of work?” I knew the answer and I knew I had a decision to make – speak up and teach, even though the lesson may not be heard – or continue to buy into the “should” with my silence. I decided to speak up.
“I call bullshit,” I said. “There is nothing wrong with being motivated by awards. Some of us are motivated by public recognition and that’s okay. We don’t all have to be martyrs.”
Admittedly, martyr was the wrong word to use – my own particular brand of judgement on those that are not motivated by public recognition like me. Demonizing those different than me definitely wasn’t helping me get my point across. This, my gentle snowflakes, is what we call a “teachable moment.”
My colleagues argued that those motivated by public recognition would probably be bad coworkers because they kept best practices to themselves as a means to get a “leg up on the competition.” I ended our meeting so very sad that being motivated by public recognition to them was akin to being a sociopath.
With the retirement of our CEO, onboarding of his replacement and subsequent restructuring that resulted in the loss of a few leadership team members (one of my favorite bosses ev-ah included), there is a lot of change at work these days. And, as is typical in times of high uncertainty, people are grasping at straws trying to find anything concrete – something tangible to hold on to. It is to be expected – basic human nature. We crave comfort and safety.
It has resulted in an awful lot of “shoulding” all over the place. Fitting neatly into a tightly-defined mold has become a pervasive theme. And this comes exactly at a time where I have decided to empathically reject all “shoulds” and fully embrace my authentic self which defies a tightly-defined anything. To say that the work has been a challenge lately is a vast understatement. But, in the spirit of duality, a challenge that is as invigorating as it is draining.
When the student is ready, the lessons will come.
So, what does this all have to do with the first adventure of 2016, performing Eye of the Needle without a yoga strap? Continue to Lessons Learned: Adventure #1 (Part 3)